The generations to follow Abraham have more drama than the stories from the 80s. It’s hard to keep up and sometimes I need a good visual to help me keep the key people straight.
You can see where Jacob & Esau fall on this family tree, and you can read more about them in Genesis 25:27-34. Esau was the outdoorsman favored by his father. Jacob was the opposite and favored by his mother. If you aren’t familiar with this situation in their teenage years, basically Esau makes an impulse decision that costs him dearly.
Can you imagine being so hungry and exhausted that you’re willing to trade your birthright (leadership position in the family and double portion of the inheritance) for some food? And not some huge amazing feast, but a bowl of lentil soup? It sounds pretty crazy – and I actually LOVE lentils.
So yeah, we really can’t fathom making that trade. Was Esau really that hungry? How could he think he was actually going to die, from missing one meal? Why would he do it? Was he that impulsive or desperate? Clearly, he didn’t value or respect what his birthright stood for, in God’s eyes or his family’s.
If you’re scratching your head at Esau, you may also find yourself making that judgement in other people’s lives. Thoughts of… “WHY would they be willing to risk everything they have, just for THAT?” Meanwhile, while we can see it in Esau and other people’s lives… I wonder what God sees in our life? What we are willing to give up, rationalizing that something else is better for us, or at least better in the moment. Where are our blindspots?
This look into Esau has really challenged me to investigate where I’m putting lentil soup on such a highly coveted pedestal, and willing to overlook the blessings God’s already given me.
Here’s the thing about Esau – it started with the lentil soup and went downhill from there. He continued to turn away from God and live a sinful life. Hebrews 12:16-17 tells us that he never had a repentant heart. He had the tears over the consequences, but never a truly repentant heart.
Esau doesn’t stand out because of his sin – we all sin and God uses sinners in His kingdom. What sets us apart from Esau is that our sin is covered by the blood of Jesus through a true repentance and belief.
God, Your ways are far beyond our ways and your love is unending. Thank you for continuing to sanctify me, forgive me, and show me your grace. Amen.